Five types of men who are into dating a woman in a wheelchair

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Image for article on dating disabled woman. Man tightly hugs woman in wheelchair around the waist. (Almost smothering). He looks like one of those really sweet guys, but too sweet. The woman is holding flowers and looks sideways and back to the man.

“Men don't look at us like fun, friendly people to spend time with. They see a wheelchair, and that's something new and exciting for them that they want to try. They think that they're the only assholes who are giving us attention.” Photo ©Elnur / Adobe Stock

Dating a disabled woman in a wheelchair

This is a story about men dating disabled women in wheelchairs  (or, to misquote Mr. Sensitivo, it is about "dating a girl with a physical disability" or "dating a woman in a wheelchair" because good men can't see the wheelchair or the disability). 

Note: If you are a guy whom I have formerly talked to and choose to identify with one of the following categories that is on you. Neither I nor my entourage has written this article on dating disabled woman by arseholes to degrade or hurt you or your ego.

Instead of regurgitating my negative experiences of men who are into dating a woman in a wheelchair, or dating a paraplegic woman, or dating a disabled woman in general, I’m going to do something a little more generic and fun. Here is my list of 5 shitty types of dudes who we often encounter in this world dating disabled women

Mr. Sensitivo

He'll tell you from the get-go how he is "okay" dating a disabled woman in a wheelchair. He may even say he is "happy dating a girl with a physical disability." 

And he claims that the fact that you have to mention you're disabled before the first day is pointless because he claims to understand that you are more than that. He won't use identity-first language or say the word wheelchair because, in his words, he "doesn't see them."

Keep in mind he knows nothing about you at this point. These guys are usually the sweetest motherfuckers you will ever meet. You can tell them anything.

Does someone wipe your ass? He’ll be okay with it.

You have one, rundown, accessible car that you can drive around in; thus, he can’t just pick you up to go on a date? He’ll be okay with it.

Do you have an assistant that will tag along in the shadows of your date? He’ll be okay with it. No explanation needed. Which, sounds spit in my eye, run me over with a three-hundred-pound wheelchair, amazing. Tis not.

When he meets you, he’ll start to realize how real it is, that it’s not a fantasy. At this point, he will begin to back out modestly and makes it seem like it’s for reasons that are out of your control. The usual life got in the way type of thing. It won’t hurt, because you’re used to the “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” type of mentality.

However, for awhile you question if it could have turned out differently if he gave you the opportunity to provide explanations. If he didn’t try to cover reality with the palms of his hands. The lesson here, kids, is that asking questions doesn’t dismiss the fact that you are open-minded and accepting. If anything, questions lead to answers, which lead to a clearer understanding that I am not that fucked up.

This is an advert for URevolution. Three identical people are wearing t-shirts that have the word "URevolution" printed on them.

Mr. Smart Ass

He emits a playful, friendly vibe from the start. He probably makes a twisted joke about not having to take the stairs again. You will laugh because it’s true and you start to feel comfortable and express how fucked up yet funny your disability could be. 

The sexy thing about him is that unlike Mr. Sensitivo he uses the heaviest things about your disability as a pun, which makes you think that maybe he’s actually thought this all through. Thus you make the mistake of opening up. However, he never stops being a jokester. I don’t know what else to say, because this one, this one hurts. 

“Don't get confused though they don't actually want you, they just want to say they are dating disabled women.”

Mr. Smooth

These guys are usually fuck boys and fantasize about doing just that, and they are not too shy to be verbal about it. These are the guys you tend to talk to because you know what you are getting into, and let’s face it. It’s fun to fantasize. 

Don’t get confused though they don’t actually want you, they just want to say they’ve been dating a woman in a wheelchair (or worse they have been "dating a girl in a wheelchair.")

The only dangerous thing about them is when you start to fantasize about them following through on their claims. They never do. Back home we refer to this “de boca para afuera“. In other words, they’re all talk and no play. Your friends will give you shit about talking to this type of guy again and again, but you are just afraid to get hurt by the types that really get to you.

Image for article on dating disabled woman in a wheelchair. Man presents a disabled woman in wheelchair with flowers. He looks like one of those really sweet guys, but too sweet. The woman looks uncomfortable…and covers her face. She is wearing a green sleeveless dress that covers her knees. He is wearing a pale blue button down shirt and navy pants. The flowers are bright pink. They are seated in an apartment and behind them is a shelf with lots of knick-knacks. Photo for article on stereotypes of men who date disabled woman for the wrong reasons.
Caption:I have nothing against Autism, but you’re not fulfilling a duty to your cousin by dating an Autistic woman in a wheelchair. Understand?Credit:©Elnur / Adobe Stock​​

Mr. Frankenstein

You are just an experiment thus all he does is waste your time with pointless questions, about what you can or cannot do. He usually disappears in about two or three days, because he got what he needed, answers. Even though this guy doesn’t hurt as much, he annoys the living shit out of you because he is very hard to identify. He’s attentive like Mr. Sensitivo, playful like Mr. Smart Ass, and sometimes makes promises he will not keep like Mr. Smooth.

The best way I’ve found to identify him is by the content of his questions. He tends to ask generic disability questions rather than personal ones. 

Things like “Can you Drive?”, “Can you feel anything?”, and of course “Can you have sex?”. There’s nothing wrong with those questions, but let’s mix it up you know? 

He should ask you things like what your favorite hobbies are, or who your favorite superhero is. He’s supposed to be getting to know you as a person, not just your disability.

Mr. “My cousin has autism”

Mr. “My cousin has autism” is not to be confused with Mr. Sensitivo. This guy feels the need to express and compare both disabilities at times when the comparison does not apply. 

I have nothing against autism, but you’re not fulfilling a duty to your cousin by dating me. 

Our life experiences are probably very different. I wouldn’t say apples and oranges, but I might say bananas and plantains. (If you don’t know what a plantain is shame on you, look it up.) This one is short and sweet because that’s pretty much it. There’s no real connection here. He’s just checking a box to feel like a good guy.

Dating a woman in a wheelchair isn’t a way for you to learn about disability

Maybe one day someone will come around and sweep me off my feet, but for now, these are the types of guys dating disabled women that come around again and again, and I somehow doubt that this is something unique to me. It all comes down to the lack of exposure that people have in the media when it comes to women with physical disabilities. 

Dating a woman in a wheelchair isn’t a way for you to learn about disability. 

Some men who are dating a woman in a wheelchair don’t look at us like we are fun, friendly people to spend time with. They see a wheelchair, and that’s something new and exciting for them that they want to try. They think that they’re the only assholes who are giving us attention, but what men need to understand is that we are not only our disabilities we are people who are looking for the same things in life that they are, and we deserve to be treated like it.

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Article by
Glow Rivera Casanova

Glorianne Rivera-Casanova, the author of "Five types of men who are into dating a woman in a wheelchair", is a woman in a wheelchair with SMA Type 2 who has a life, opinion, and story like any other human being. Beyond her life on wheels, she recently graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a major in Fashion Marketing and a minor in Costume Design.